This past weekend, the UBC women’s and men’s volleyball teams ended their regular season with winning sweeps against the visiting Brandon University Bobcats.
On the women’s side, the team’s veterans led the way to two wins against Bobcats and the team will now prepare for the Canada West quarterfinal. With an overall record of 13–11 for UBC, the team ended the season seventh in the Canada West standings.
The T-Birds won 3–1 (25–16, 25–10,25–27, 25–20) on Friday afternoon as Anna Price led the team with 17 kills along with 10 more each by Gabrielle Attieh and Ravyn Wiebe.
Then for senior night on Saturday, T-Birds scored another 3–1 (25–14, 25–21, 20–25, 25–12) victory.
“Number one is just having all four seniors contributed to a lot of good things was great,” said UBC women’s volleyball head coach Doug Reimer.
“We didn’t adapt when Brandon raised their level of defensive intensity and we needed to find a way to be steadier and we showed it in the fourth set tonight. We bounced back really well.”
After UBC took the first set, the opening of the second set was very strong for the team with three consecutive points, including the point gained by the double contact against Bobcats.
T-Birds libero Laura Worsley dove to save the ball that went far outside the court when Price connected with an attack, bringing another point for UBC and eventually another set win for UBC.
The Bobcats stepped up their game for the third set and made it a tough fight for ’Birds. Right off the start, the Bobcats took the first point. The T-Birds missed the ball as Bobcats’ Kaoane Loch tipped the ball over the net, which led to a timeout called by Reimer.
But it was not enough to bring another set for UBC.
For the fourth set, UBC changed their gears and started the set strong by building a 12-point gap, which eventually led to another win for UBC.
The ’Birds will head to Kenyon Court in Calgary to play against Mount Royal Cougars, ranked second in Canada West, for the Canada West quarter-final this Friday.
The men’s also played well against Brandon, as the weekend sweep put UBC (17–5) in third place in Canada West going into the playoffs.
T-Birds started with a 3–1 (25–21, 26–28, 26–24, 25–23) victory on Friday afternoon with a high of 17 kills by Matt Neaves, 15 by Coltyn Liu and 14 by Michael Dowhaniuk.
Another 3–1 victory (25–21, 25–22, 21–25, 26–24) on Saturday against the fourth-place Brandon Bobcats (13–8) saw the T-Birds end their regular season on a high note.
Right at the start of Saturday’s game, there was a great deal of tension between the T-Birds and Bobcats. But this did not stop the T-Birds from a great start to the first set as Bobcats’ Bryton Such missed the serve.
T-Birds’ Nick Mickelberry carried this momentum and led to back-to-back aces with a rejection made by T-Birds’ Zec Johnson that forced Bobcats for a timeout. But Johnson gave another rejection and closed off the first set with 25–17.
In the second set, T-Birds had a slight downfall as they missed three points in a row that led UBC men’s volleyball coach Mike Hawkins to call for a timeout. But Jordan Deshane finished off the set with a rejection and won UBC another set 25–22.
Meanwhile, there were a lot of mistakes made by UBC that gave away the set point to Bobcats.
Six lead changes in the fourth set built up the tension even more, which excited the fans. The timeout was called by Bobcats when T-Birds were at their match point, but the ’Birds squeezed in another point as Mickelberry gave a successful attack.
“It was important for us to go through a gritty set like that, especially guys who maybe didn’t play a ton, but 1 through 16, it’s important for us to have that mentality that we have servers that can go back and rattle off servers like Danny did,” said Hawkins on the fourth set of Saturday's game.
The T-Birds will start the opening round of the Canada West quarter-final as they host the Winnipeg Wesman games next Thursday, February 20.
“We have confidence and every guy to go back and get that job done for us and your game plan for the playoffs. My philosophy is that our best is going to be other teams. That’s the way that we need to think so we know that we have to play with an aggressive mentality. So regardless of who’s on the other side of the net, really all that matters is how we play,” said Hawkins.